A Lovely List of Stones
I've been working on a group of rings for Boskone as well as the new designs.

I love going through my stones and choosing them and I love the way they look in words.

Lavender jade - very delicate
African malachite - densely patterned
Watermelon tourmaline - small and clearly patterned
Blue tourmaline
Golden labradorite - small and vivid
Jadite - very soft subtle greens
Rainbow obsidian
Madiera topaz - really the color of the sherry
Bicolored pearl - baroque and pink and white

And now I'm going back to my wax bench.

New Work and Gold and Garnet Pendant
I've been working on a gold and garnet pendant influenced by Elizabethan chains.

The first step was to find a stone that resembled a red moonstone from 16th century Turkey that was part of a unearthed hoard of Elizabethan jewlery.  My lapidary cut some stones after much searching for material, and we ended up with a star garnet, a red/purple labradorite, and a vivid garnet.  The vivid translucent garnet turned out to be the right stone.

I've been working on the wax for quite a while and it's deveoping beautifully.

Chains look like this.

And I've been working on some designs for Boskone including some that feel like a compleat design change for me .  It's exciting.

Cid Pearlman Performance Projects: Economies of Effort
(Cross posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

My daughter Cid Pearlman has a major work opening in San Francisco in February. I've been watching her work for over 25 years and the combination of beautiful complex dance and thought in her work continues to knock me out.

"Economies of Effort: 1" is an evening-length dance exploring the virtues of self-reliance and the creative impulse.


This interdisciplinary collaboration is the first installment in a planned triptych of performances by Pearlman on the theme of “economy.” Performed in the round, and featuring a set designed by visual artist Robbie Schoen that the dancers build each night as part of the choreography, "Economies of Effort: 1" aims to generate questions about the differences between creating something with bodies (theoretically intangible) and building something that has a solid shape (with the illusion of permanence).

Bessie Award-winning composer Albert Mathias will create an original score for "Economies of Effort: 1". Just as the dancers take an active part in constructing the set each night, so too will they operate the music on two turntables and a laptop. In a radical act of self-sufficiency and self-containment – of economy, if you will – the dancers control all of the technical aspects of the production from the set to the sound and lighting.

 dancer sitting on chair holding a drill

...Choreographed by Cid Pearlman, Economies of Effort: 1 opens Thursday, February 5, 2015 at the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco, followed by performances at Motion Pacific in Santa Cruz and Pieter Performance Space in Los Angeles. This new work is created with and performed by Julia Daniel, Collette Kollewe, Claire Melbourne, Cynthia Strauss, and Chelsea Zamora.

"Economies of Effort: 2"
Created during a residency at Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava (Independent Dance Theater) in Tallinn, Estonia, the second installment in the triptych will feature four pairs of dancers – one couple, a mother and daughter, and two sets of close friends. Over the course of one month, I will work with each pair to create personal vocabularies tied to the subtle, often private, intricacies of their relationships. Each pair will map out a blueprint of a real or imagined space they share, on the floor of the theater. Then we will intercut the movement generated by the duets, swapping out who does what, overlaying the maps, and creating a more complicated polity that reflects on the complexity of relationships and the social economy of community. “Economy,” in this work, informs the process of making the dance as much as it does the content.

She's doing a Kickstarter Campaign (Click on the link if you want to help.) for the final funding for the new works.

If you're in the Bay Area and you're coming to her show, I'll be there Friday and Saturday night.

photos by Beau Saunders

Wedding Bands for the New Year.

Best to everyone for 2015.  My resolution is the same as last year's, to try to have a less intense and dense life.  I don't like my chances.

Thought this would be a nice time to put up Emma and Cynthia's wedding bands.  They are from quick photos that Emma took in my studio.  Stones are peridot and amethyst (their birth stones) and diamonds in gold.

I just finshed a design in wax to create a double prenite pendant.  It's designed with a crescent moon and a moonflower (moon flowers are  real).  There should be a photo when it's done.

E and C ringshands_0217

E and C ringsclose up1 E_0217 copy

Back on LJ
There was an issue with LJ that would not let me log on to post since the 19th but it seems to be resolved.  Hopefully I will be back to posting regularly now.

So first let me wish everyone a good Holiday and you might want to check out Body impolitic's 2014 Guide To A Sane Holiday.

And I am off to do late night holiday prep.

 I posted this on dreamwidth on the 19th:

Wax and Rain

I've been working in wax a lot lately and being very tightly focused. It's sometimes a mixed blessing.  Some of the designs are being cast now and after they're polished and set I should have some photos in the forseeable future.

I've been carving a woven gold ring set with an Ethiopian opal that has a mixture of flash and delicate pin point color that's very unusual and beautiful.

And also working on a design for a really subtly stunning chalcopyrite pedant in blue and gold.  I'm close to finishing a delicate subtle design for a beautiful tanzanite.

All the rain we've been having in San Francisco is excellent for working at my wax

Body: My Photograph Juror's Choice in Budapest Exhibition
(cross-posted on Body Impolitic)

I was delighted when I heard that my photograph Debbie Notkin and Tracy Blackstone from Women En Large was the juror's choice in Body, an international photography exhibition at the PH1 Gallery in Budapest, curated by Zsolt Bátori. One of the reasons in that the overall quality of the exhibition is thoughtful and excellent.

From PH21:

It is always inspiring to see how photographers approach an exhibition theme from different creative angles. Photographic depictions of the human body range from the aesthetic through the documentary to mystic uncertainty, renewing, commenting on or criticizing received modes of expression…

The human body has been the central subject of various photographic genres. From documentary, event and street photography to fashion photography and the nude, photographers have always found ways of constructing images in which the specific portrayal of the human body gains significance. That significance may stem from the rich layers of meanings emerging from specific socio-cultural contexts, the visual interaction of the human body with the surrounding physical space, or the intriguing compositional possibilities offered by the body itself. Some explore movements, study expressive gestures and postures, some concentrate on the anatomical beauty, some narrate whole lives through the depiction of the human body. Others may offer stern visual criticism of our normative conceptions of the human body and the ways it is portrayed in mainstream Western media.

I read the juror's critique of my photograph this evening and it's one of the most sensitive and perceptive commentaries I've received on a photograph.

Laurie Toby Edison’s Debbie Notkin & Tracy Blackstone is the juror’s choice of this exhibition. This complex image incorporates several layers of photographic meaning. Our initial reaction to the calm composition might be to contemplate the symmetry of the image and the captivating texture of the curtain that takes up a significant portion of the photograph, providing an excellent nonfigurative background for the shapes of the two women on the couch. The lighter inner part of the two sides of the curtain lead our eyes down to the two figures emerging from the darker shades of the blanket on the couch. As we are drawn to the faces, it might even take some time to realize that the two bodies are in the nude. Indeed, it is one of the most powerful aspects of this image that nudity is portrayed in such a “natural” and subdued manner that it goes without saying – almost even without registering on our perception. It may take some extra effort to understand why the nudity of the figures is not more salient, despite also being an identifying thematic and visual feature of the photograph. The secret might lie in the bright serenity in the look of the two women. Their expressions are filled with such joy and peacefulness that the image simply washes all received – and often oppressively reinforced – social conceptions of the human body light years away. Social criticism is delivered in a serious, beautifully composed but at the same time effortlessly cheerful photograph.

Back From World Fantasy and Not Quite Invisible Dragon
World Fantasy Con was particularity special this year. Had an excellent time and got some marvelous commissions including the turtle from Julie Czerneda's new novel A Turn of Light. I'm excited about doing it.

Photo below is a pendant set with a metallic stag jasper of the "becoming invisible dragon" from Tanya Huff's Emporium Series . We ended up taking the photo at World Fantasy under less then ideal circumstances, so there are light reflections in the stone. Actual stone is richer and more beautiful. But the photo does give a good sense of the design.

Working out the design aesthetic while conceptually creating the sense of "turning invisible" was challenging in a really good way.

Pendant is about 2.5" high. From the collection of Marsha Jones.

Off to World Fantasy in the Morning
Really looking forward to World Fantasy and seeing my friends.

These are the final photographs from the World Fantasy ebook "Unconventional Fantasy".

Here are 3 views of the Great A'tuin. The turtle that holds up the world with the elephants on his back. Disc World is the boulder opal with the water flowing off it.

Great A’Tuin (from Discworld by Terry Pratchett)
Sterling silver and boulder opal - size approximately 3" x 4"
From the Collection of Jerry Chilson

Jelly Fish Photo from the World Fantasy Ebook
I was so wrapped up in making work earlier in the month that I wasn't posting much.  So I'm making sure that all of the images in "Unconventional Fantasy " are posted before I leave for DC.

This a boulder opal jellyfish .  It was Elyse's idea.  I was really surprised that using a boulder opal for a jelly fish had not occured to me since it's so perfect for the creature I need to make another different boulder opal jellyfish soon.
It's sterling silver, boulder opal and ruby - size approximately 1.5"
From the Collection of  Elyse Seigle

Ammonite pendant from World Fantasy's Ebook
Here's another photo from WFC's Unconventional Fantasy ebook.

The pendant is an "Ammonite with Tentacles Grasping Opal". It's sterling silver (antiqued black), fossil ammonite (Cretaceous), Ethiopian opal, and Australian opal -approximately 3.5"
From the Collection of David and Pierce Ludke

Finished packing the second group of amazing stones from my lapidaries. They include some exquisite lace agates, some of the most beautiful plume agates I've seen since LLoyd Eschbach cut then for me many years ago, and a stunning tiger iron.  Had a lovely time packing them.

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